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  1. #1
    Member
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    Jul 2005
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    milan, italy
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    57

    The Perfect Guest

    I just had 3 guests over for the weekend and found myself wondering what makes a perfect guest. I think the perfect guests should:

    - pretend they like the food I cook and avoid any direct criticism during food preparation;
    - DEFINITELY help washing up (much appreciated);
    - be open to doing things they would not normally do (e.g., going dancing) while they're staying with you;
    - bring small but thoughtful presents (even better if crafts);
    - DEFINITELY refrain from entangling your yarn (!"$%&/!!!!!).

    Am I asking too much? Any further suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    893
    I agree with yours. Also:

    - Pick up after themselves. Even if they don't wash their teacups, for example, at least bring them into the kitchen.

    - Have some ideas up front about what they'd like to do/see.

    - Ask before they strip the bed. (Maybe you aren't planning to wash the sheets until later.)

    - Keep their area of your place at least a bit tidy.

    - Take you out to dinner at least once. (Or offer to pick up some of the tab - at the grocery store or elsewhere.)

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    363
    I remember a friend coming into town for one week and staying with me. The worst thing she did was spend the whole time talking to her boyfriend back home! So, my list would include: Make time for your host and remember you will see your friends back home...back home!

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    los angeles county, CA
    Posts
    566
    My husband's nephew came to work with him (my husband then worked from a home office) for a few weeks, and it was like having another kid in the house, only this kid was in his early 20s and 5'9". He complained to me (the boss' wife!) about the work, hogged the TV at night, sucked down every meal with us like a dry sponge in a puddle, never cleared his place, never said thank you. Very ungracious.

    A good guest:
    -Is polite.
    -At least offers to help clean up, each and every meal.
    -Does not sulk, or sulks in private.
    -Does not treat the woman of the house like his mother or his servant.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    185
    I agree with all of the points that everyone has posted so far. I also think that it is important for a guest to be able to entertain themselves for a while, especially if they are here for a longer visit. Just because they are on vacation does not mean that I am, too.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    157
    I would have thought these things obvious! Ordinary politeness and courtesy...

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    719
    Mrs_stroozi - I would say not treat ANY member of the household as their servant (including children, for example).

    I would also maybe degree with the "bringing gifts" and "picking up the tab" suggestions, and just add "...depenging on the context."

    For example, if I am staying with a relative and I am a poor graduate student, I don't think it is necessary or appropriate for me to bring gifts or offer to pick up the tab ...

    However, if I am a young professional staying with other young professionals of similar (or even lesser) financial means I think it is certainly appropriate to help your hosts out financially - by covering the groceries for your visit, picking up the tab at the restaurant, or whatever.

    Just wanted to note that this was really a context-based qualification. :)

    Also, to be a good guest I think one should inquire about the host's usual schedule (esp. if they have children). In general, one should nquire as to "house rules", but the schedule is important - what time does the host generally get up in the morning, or go to bed? A guest should endeavour to minimize disruption to the normal flow of the house.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Far away
    Posts
    462
    Quote Originally Posted by delqc
    I would also maybe degree with the "bringing gifts" and "picking up the tab" suggestions, and just add "...depenging on the context."

    For example, if I am staying with a relative and I am a poor graduate student, I don't think it is necessary or appropriate for me to bring gifts or offer to pick up the tab ...

    However, if I am a young professional staying with other young professionals of similar (or even lesser) financial means I think it is certainly appropriate to help your hosts out financially - by covering the groceries for your visit, picking up the tab at the restaurant, or whatever.

    Just wanted to note that this was really a context-based qualification. :)
    I agree. To me, it depends on how well I know the person I'm staying with, too. Like if I was staying with my mother's cousin whom I hardly know, I would bring a gift etc (and depending on how long I stayed, also offer to pay), but if I stay with my sister I don't (unless I find/make something I think they'd like).

    For me as a host, as long as the guest has a good attitude, I don't care about whether or not they pick up after themselves (within reasonable limits, of course) or about other details. I'd rather have people over who feel comfortable in my house, than ones who are over-eager to please. But that's just me. Offers to help washing up etc are of course always welcome...but that is sort of included in the "good attitude", that you should at least offer your help.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    florida's nature coast
    Posts
    136
    I've had the pleasure of having 'perfect guests'...last summer one of my bestest friends and her bf came to Portland for 8 days and they stayed in studio apt while I stayed with my bf at his place. Not only did they take us out for a nice dinner...they gave us gifts and left the nicest cards for each of us AND they replaced everything they had used or eaten. Oh, and the studio was spic n span clean! How does a perfect guest top that?

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    41
    I agree with most of what has been said... On the other hand a good HOST will make it clear to their guests what they expect. Not in terms of laying down ground rules, but just a casual "would you mind doing such-and-such?" every now and then. Maybe their guest does things differently...

    My family recently went to visit my Aunty and Uncle in Queensland, and in the end they were having such a great time together that my mum approached my Aunty and asked "look, would you mind if we stayed a couple of extra days?" My Aunty's response was "I would consider it such an extreme compliment that you feel comfortable enough in our house to stay longer..."

    I just thought that was nice...


 
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